11 April 2017

Ghana/Nigeria: Ghana 'Keeper Denies Punching Nigeria Ball Boy to Coma

Abuja — NIGERIAN football side, Enyimba, has rejected reports its goalkeeper, Fatau Dauda, punched a ball boy unconscious during a violence-marred match against Katsina United this past weekend. The altercation between the two was among a series of upheavals in the match which ended 2-1 in favour of the home side Katsina. On Tuesday, Enyimba defended the Ghanaian, having reviewed the match tape of the incident that occurred in the 84th minute. "Dauda simply sought, in the aftermath of Katsina United's second goal, to retrieve the ball from the ball boy in order to facilitate a quick restart," Enyimba explained. "Dauda knocked the ball out of the grasp of the ball boy, who had clasped the ball to his midriff to prevent access to it. Dauda did not punch the ball boy, as alleged by the home side, and contrary to widespread reports," argued Enyimba. The club said Dauda did not assault or beat up the ball boy in question,"let alone to the point of coma as some sensationalist reports have purported." "Any contact with the ball boy in the process of dislodging the ball was clearly and purely incidental." Enyimba described Dauda was a seasoned professional and a Ghana international who has represented his country at a World Cup, the biggest footballing stage in the world. "He has maintained his innocence of any wrongdoing from the first, and the video evidence supports his claim." At the end of the match, property was destroyed as rival fans ran amok. In light of this, Enyimba demanded that the "unsportsmanlike and violent conduct" of fans of Katsina United be condemned. "Such violence has no place in our league and we maintain our call for strong sanctions against Katsina United." Comment could not be sought from the Nigeria Professional football League. - CAJ News

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